OU Health’s New Addiction Medicine Program Provides Comprehensive Care for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

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OU Health’s New Addiction Medicine Program Provides Comprehensive Care  for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders disrupt lives and have the potential to be fatal if left untreated. OU Health’s new CARES Program (Comprehensive Addiction Recovery, Education and Services) provides specialized medical care with a multidisciplinary team of addiction specialists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselors and other members of the healthcare team.

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services reports that opiates, methamphetamine, alcohol and marijuana are the most widely used substances in the state. In 2021, over 600 Oklahomans died of methamphetamine overdoses, and 299 died of fentanyl overdoses. In the same year, Oklahoma also ranked within the top 10 states for alcohol-related deaths.

While the path to recovery is not an easy one, the CARES program provides recovery plans individualized to the needs and goals of each patient and is aimed at individuals looking to reduce or eliminate addictions from their lives.

The CARES program is led by board certified, fellowship-trained addiction medicine psychiatrist, Tiffany Bartel, D.O., and is based on the understanding that substance use disorders are complex and are influenced by biological, psychological and social factors, and these range in severity. Substance use disorders may occur with other mental health disorders and treating these concurrently has been shown to be an effective strategy towards recovery.

“The CARES program includes a continuum of services including inpatient detoxification, a structured outpatient program, medication assisted treatment and traditional outpatient counseling,” said Bartel. “It is distinguished from other programs in that we have nationally recognized substance use researchers that are involved with treatment of patients.”

Each patient’s program is different with a combination of treatments included to support recovery. As a facet of outpatient treatment, group therapy, including Family Education and Support Program, Health and Medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Relapse Prevention, Seeking Safety Group and Women’s Group, may be recommended. Continuing care is encouraged once the first two phases of treatment have been completed to support patients with their transition to a substance free lifestyle.

The OU Health CARES program treats addictions to the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Hallucinogenic drugs including PCP and LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Medications to treat anxiety and insomnia
  • Opioid pain medications including codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, heroin, kratoma and fentanyl
  • Stimulants including cocaine and methamphetamine
  • Inhalants

“The CARES program is a multidisciplinary program that provides state of the art, evidence-based strategies,” said Michael Brand, Ph.D., LCSW, a professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and expert in substance abuse and substance abuse treatment. “The multidisciplinary program is supported by the OU Health system, offering the full spectrum of medical services and enables patients to receive addiction and mental health treatment at one place by one team.”

Patients of the CARES program will also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials giving them access to the most advanced medications and behavioral treatments to treat substance use disorders.

To learn more or to make an appointment call (405) 271-5251 ext. 46772.